We’ve already talked about the Rangers offense. When everybody is on, they put up some crazy numbers and make opposing teams look foolish and have people going on about how they are – by far- the best team in baseball. Funny thing about baseball. A lot can happen in 162 games, or in approximately 1,458 innings. Like a team known for offensive ineptness putting up 8 runs in back to back frames and winning a baseball game 21-8. That would be a bad game for the Cowboys against the Seahawks.
That game and ugly performance coming only one day after Seattle put up six runs in the eighth inning two nights ago. See, what Mitch Moreland did in May was the good side of regression. What happened the past two nights? The very, very ugly side of regression. Everyone had mentioned how amazing the Rangers bullpen had been. Their numbers were comparable – even better – than Mariano Rivera’s career numbers. However, as strong as I feel the Rangers bullpen is, they were due for some runs allowed. And yes, most of that came against Derek Holland (who started) and Yoshinori Tateyama (who is the Rangers seventh or even eighth best reliever if you factor in Neftali Feliz [post coming later today about him]), but still.
There were still some runs that needed to be scored against the Rangers to help their ungodly pythagorean record going into the game, and hey, what goes around comes around; that much success is unsustainable for 162 games and whatever other cliche you want to talk about. The Rangers sucked yesterday. They sucked near the end of Tuesday, too. They’ve really been mostly average for the entire month of May. But that’s where the good news comes in. June is right around the corner. Another month, and some more questions surround the Rangers than they did a month ago. But that doesn’t matter much, in reality. The only questions the Rangers need to answer come in October. Until then, enjoy the ride.
One quick note:
- Even before following the Rangers as closely as I have been this season (prior to this I was a more general baseball fan perhaps even slightly towards the Mariners), I had theories on Justin Smoak. Of course, Smoak and the Rangers will always be linked. He was the big prize in the Cliff Lee trade (and the big piece the Yankees were offering was Jesus Montero, ironically now also a Mariner…) I have always thought Smoak did very well against the Rangers compared to other teams, especially in Arlington. So I took a look, and I was right.
Justin Smoak, career: .228 avg/.309 obp, 37 HR, 130 RBI
Justin Smoak, career vs TEX (at Safeco): 12/42 (.286), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB (.348 OBP)
Justin Smoak, career vs TEX (at TBiA): 18/62 (.290), 5 HR, 15 RBI, 5 BB (.343 OBP)
Justin Smoak, career vs TEX (overall): 30/104 (.288), 6 HR, 19 RBI, 9 BB (.345 OBP)
The results are that he does perform better against Texas. And it isn’t even a TBiA thing, as his Safeco numbers actually improve against Texas. So, it isn’t my imagination and don’t worry Ranger fans, Smoak isn’t as good as he is when he plays the Rangers all the time.